Shaving is one of the most popular methods of hair removal as it’s the quickest and cheapest and it’s good for removing hair from most parts of the body. However if you’re not shaving in the correct way, you’ll be more prone to getting painful nicks and cuts, razor burn, red bumps and ingrown hairs. So here are some of the best shaving tips for women so that we can have smooth, nick-free, glowing skin.
Choose The Correct Razor
The most important shaving tip for women is to choose a good razor. It’s probably best not to use cheap single-blade disposable razors for everyday use as they don’t last long (after all they are supposed to be disposed after a couple of uses) and are likelier to drag against the skin. You’re better off spending a little bit more on a razor that has spring-mounted multiple blades with a pivoting head as it will give you a smoother shave and is less likely to cause cuts and nicks. The blades will adjust to the body’s contour allowing you to navigate tricky areas like the knees and ankles. Also if you get one that has a lubricated strip, this may provide a little added protection from razor burn by moisturizing the skin so that the blades don’t drag and instead glide easily and effortlessly.
Some razors also come with trimmers attached which can be used for trimming longer hairs before shaving which is especially useful if you shave the bikini area.
If you have sensitive skin and are prone to itching or razor burn after shaving then it may be best to choose a three-blade razor over a five-blade one as a five-blade razor could cut hair down to just below the surface of the skin which can lead to ingrown hairs and razor burn.
It’s usually advised to choose a razor that was made especially for women and not to be tempted to borrow or use men’s razors as they are designed for the hair growth characteristics of a man’s beard and therefore usually don’t work as well for women, however there are some women that swear by using certain men’s razors. Women’s razors are designed to work on female body hair and its specific growth pattern – we especially like the Gillette Venus Embrace Refillable Razor which has five blades and a pivoting head to hug every curve and get virtually every hair (check out our recommended shavers here).
Exfoliate Before Shaving
Exfoliating before shaving helps prevent ingrown hairs and lifts the hair in preparation for a better shave. It also gets rid of dead skin cells that could clog up your razor which reduces it’s efficiency and prevents a close shave (you’ll find that your shavers will last longer too if you exfoliate before shaving). It also works to prevent a too-close shave which can lead to cuts or razor burn.
You can exfoliate by using a dry brush before you shower or use a loofah, exfoliating glove or mild body scrub that’s suitable for frequent use whilst in the shower, making sure you rinse thoroughly before you shave.
Shave Whilst In The Shower Or Bath
Shaving should be done in a warm shower or bath as warm water plumps and softens the skin and hair which makes it easier to cut. Don’t be tempted to shave whilst your skin is dry as this can lead to cuts, nicks, bumps and razor burn as well as clogs up your razor with dead skin.
Wet your skin for around three minutes and you’re ready to go!
Use A Shaving Gel Or Cream
Apply a shaving gel or cream on your skin before shaving as this will help to provide moisture which makes for a smooth shave. It also helps you to keep track of where you’ve shaved to avoid missing any spots.
Like any beauty product, different shaving gels and creams are designed for different types of skin so it’s important to choose one that is suitable for you. If your skin is dry or sensitive, then it’s best to stay away from products that contain alcohol or fragrance (check out our shaving cream recommendations here).
Don’t use shower gel in place of a shaving gel or cream as some contain a lot of perfume and when used with a razor can be drying. Soap is also very drying unless it’s specifically made for shaving but shaving gels and creams tend to be more moisturizing. If you don’t have any shaving gel or cream then hair conditioner works well as an alternative.
You could also use a shaving oil instead of a gel or cream or you can use it together with one by applying it first and then the gel or cream on top. This will provide greater protection and help to eliminate razor burn and ingrowing hairs due to the higher level of moisturization and you’ll emerge nick and cut free with smooth, soft skin. Baby oil or olive oil could also be used if you don’t have any shaving oil.
Also when choosing a shaving cream or gel to use, you don’t have to necessarily get one that is specifically designed for women. Men’s shaving creams and gels do exactly the same job and although they may not smell as good they are a whole lot cheaper!
Shave The Proper Way
You’ve probably heard everyone telling you that you should never shave against the direction of hair growth but this is fine if you don’t have sensitive skin and you will get a much closer shave. What we’d recommend is to shave once with the grain to trim the hairs and then a second time against it, that way you’ll get the best results and hopefully without any irritation.
When shaving, try to use long even strokes without applying excessive pressure. Shave carefully over bony areas like the ankles and knees and use short careful strokes to avoid cuts. Bend your knees or flex your ankles to pull the skin tight in order to help the blade move across the area more easily. Also in areas where skin is looser you should pull the skin taut to encourage the hairs to stand up and to create a smooth shaving surface.
For the underarms, raise your arm to help keep your underarm flat and easier to shave and you’ll need to shave in multiple directions since the hair doesn’t just grow in one direction.
Also avoid shaving the same area too much so as to minimize skin irritation and don’t shave over any unhealed cuts as they could become infected.
When shaving, make sure to stay warm to prevent goosebumps, as any irregularity in the surface of the skin can make shaving harder and you’re more prone to getting nicks and cuts.
Pamper Your Skin After Shaving
After shaving you should rinse your skin thoroughly with water and pat it dry with a towel. Don’t rub your skin as it will be at it’s most sensitive immediately after shaving. Ideally you should let your skin rest for at least thirty minutes to let your pores close and for your skin to calm down before applying moisturizer, deodorant, perfume or going swimming. The salt and chlorine in swimming pools can cause stinging and so can the alcohol in some moisturizers and sunscreens. If you must moisturize immediately after shaving, choose a cream instead of a lotion as this will be more effective in soothing your skin. Try to use a non-perfumed or very lightly perfumed cream as this will contain little or no alcohol and also try to avoid exfoliating moisturizers.
Using a moisturizer is important to help lock in moisture and keep your skin hydrated. Body oils also work very well as well as baby oil or coconut oil.
If you have any areas of the skin that are irritated from shaving then shea butter or honey is great for soothing the skin or use a cold compress or aloe vera gel to cool the areas and help reduce inflammation.
Replace Your Razor Regularly
Be sure to replace razors or cartridges frequently (usually after about five to ten shaves) as you’ll get a much smoother shave because a dull blade can lead to cuts and nicks and are more likely to cause bumps and redness.
An accumulation of gunk or waste in your razor that doesn’t rinse out easily with water is usually the first sign that you need to replace your razor. Even if it still shaves well, a razor clogged up with waste is not hygienic and can introduce bacteria into open pores or cuts and cause an infection.
We hope that you’ve found these shaving tips useful, please feel free to leave a comment below to let us know which of our shaving tips have worked particularly well for you or if you’d like to share any of your own tips!